May 11, 2014 6:39am
Re: You're both largely wrong......
Based on what I heard, 10/14 failed to live up to its potential. Some great high points, but the lows were horrible. I actually used the words "Triple Crown of Suck" to describe this one - but for reasons different then what you might think. Here's the whole write-up:
51. 10/14/84 – Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CThttps://archive.org/details/gd1984-10-14.senn421.pauline.miller.91385.sbeok.flac16
a. Alabama Getaway – Clearly the crowd is reacting to B3 keys. Jerry sounds ragged. Phil is bombing early. Billy and Mickey are squashed into the right side of the mix. Jer’s first solo is hot. His second verse sounds horrible – a combination of strain and blown lyrics. Brent rides in to save Jer at 2:25 with a nice crisp solo. Nice peaks at 2:50. From 4:20 on this one just blisters. Good start. Let’s hope Jer’s vocals gain some strength or it could be a long night.
b. Greatest Story Ever Told – Phil is strong right from the start. Brent’s keys have a nice little jangle pop electric piano to them. Not sure what the hissy/scratchy sound is but you can almost hear Bob or Jerry’s fingers sliding on the strings. Billy and Mickey have moved more to the center and they are on top of each other. At 2:38 it almost sounds as if they tried to end the song, but Jer kept pushing through. This one felt really loose and borderline sloppy, but the crowd loved it. Bobby oversings himself at 2:40. Musically this one is solid, but the vocals are a head scratcher.
c. Dire Wolf – Jer sounds marginally better. Keys are just short of too bright. Jer’s runs sound crisp – he’s tightened up a little. Billy and Mickey are mushed in the middle. Sounds like they are starting to settle in and get their feet underneath them.
d. Little Red Rooster – Dr. Jekyll slide Bobby or Mr. Hyde slide Bobby? Almost doesn’t matter since Brent is strong with the B3. Through 3:00, Bobby doesn’t sound bad. Almost bad at 2:50, but overall not too bad. 3:35 brings a great solo from Brent. Not particularly fast or jammed – but great in that it gave us a moment of reprieve from Bobby’s slide. I might be too harsh towards Bobby, but Brent sounds really good. Poor choice of effects for Bobby at 5:10. Sounds like Bobby pulled something at 5:45 with his abrupt stop. He falls apart at 6:25. This is like a slowly unfolding train wreck of what not to do with slide guitar. This one was just too loose for me. There were some good LRRs in 84, but this was not one of them.
e. Dupree’s Diamond Blues – Jerry is really struggling with his vocals. Brent’s carnival calliope provides no relief distraction. Jer’s guitar work does sound good. Phil is ever present. Billy and Mickey are starting to separate a little. While there haven’t been any “bad” songs so far, there haven’t been any standouts either.
f. My Brother Esau* – Finally! (See last sentence accompanying Dupree’s). Phil, Brent and Jer have a great kick off to what has been a pretty solid tune in 1984. Billy and Mickey are now fully split into right and left sides of the mix.
g. Loser* – There’s reason to hope when the B3 carries into the next tune. Phil is leading this one. Bobby’s rhythm is clear and crisp. Jer’s vocals seem to have found some strength and clarity. Nice solo from Jer at 3:55 – envelope follower sounds good. Jer and Brent are playing well together in this sequence. Things are looking up.
h. New Minglewood Blues* – The B3 streak continues. Jerry is bouncing around all over the place – in a good way. Call Phil “Boomer”. No doubt the crowd is on the edge of their seats in anticipation of Bobby callout of the Hartford fillies. I’ve been to Hartford – it’s more like hippos. Billy and Mickey are laying down a low end drum line. Simple but tasty solo from Brent at 3:20. 3:55 gives us a slow roll Phil bomb. Bobby’s slide gets loose from time to time, but sounds better than LRR. He keeps it relatively low key through 5:43 and then hands of to Jerry for a nicely jammed segment. The closing jam was really well played. A surprisingly solid performance given the slow start to the show. I guess they just needed to get warmed up.
i. Row Jimmy – Somehow the jangle keys don’t hurt quite as much as they did in earlier months. Jerry is croaking out the lyrics. Upon further review, by 1:00, the jangle factor is too high. Brent is backing Jer quite nicely. Jer’s middle solo is plaintive and a bit achy. Billy and Mickey are as well separated as they have been all show. We could do without the extended chimey predator keys at 5:30. Bright and jangly is bad enough. Hippies clapping in time at 7:30. It falls apart by 8:00. Entropic clapping after that. Phil is up in the mix, hopefully he’ll stay there. This wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad, just a little jangly and Jer’s vocals were pretty croaky. Maybe they’re letting the audience rest?
j. I Need A Miracle* – Enter the Phil Bomb Parade. Great crowd participation. Jer’s guitar is whining all over the background, nicely accented by Brent’s B3. Phil is who I hear until about 1:20 when Jer pushes his way to the front and lets go with some crisp runs. Phil by a nose on the backstretch. Hats off to the crowd for hooking the lyrics through the key change. Nice Bobby rhythm starting around 3:00. By nice I mean you can hear him. Nice recovery and pace pickup after Row Jimmy.
k. Might As Well – Just what the doctor ordered. Even Brent’s toy keys and Jer’s rasped lyrics aren’t bad. Phil wins this one, hands down. The crowd cheers Jer’s successful “Never had such a good time” at 2:00, probably because he didn’t implode. The middle jam from 2:30 was fun. Jer seems to have some wind behind his vocals. He’s still a little croaky, but there’s strength behind the croak.
l. China Cat Sunflower – Phil is strong out of the gate with this one. 80s pace. Keys are appropriately bright. Transition jam through 4:45 is well played, if just a touch too quick for me. Jer kicks it up a notch around 5:45 and really carries the jam into Rider. Brent is bright and jangly, but he’s far enough back in the mix that it sounds okay. No question this is an 80s CCS.
m. I Know You Rider – Crowd response to a safe zone classic is enthusiastic. Jer’s solo at 4:30 has a clam or two, but he smokes it. Billy and Mickey sound great. A solid 80s version of a safe tune.
n. Samson and Delilah – They shift gears coming out of Rider and Brent and Jerry lead a blistering intro. Phil bomblets at 1:30ish. Jerry is on fire at 2:45. Can finally hear Bobby’s rhythm clearly around the 5:00 mark. There were just a few loose parts that kept this one from all time contender status. It was just short of the 7/22/84 performance.
o. High Time – Odd change of pace coming out of S&D. Of course, Jer completely blows the opening verse with an unintelligible “myuh, yah, yah yoooooo, hmmmmmm”. He must be tired. Brent occasionally bleeds through with a bright jangle. This one did nothing for me.
p. Estimated Prophet - Signature 80s with Brent’s toy keys. A couple of early Phil bomblets at 0:17. Jer is popping on the envelope filter with a touch of wah. Then someone decides to put a reverb/warble/distortion on Bobby’s vocals at 1:30? This is unnecessary. And cruel to my ears. Healy has had better ideas. This was not one of them. He’s also had some cruel and evil ideas. This qualifies. More vocal nightmares at 3:00. 7/4 time is cool. Squirreling up Bobby’s vocals is not. He also throws the echo in on Jer’s guitar at 4:10. Boo. Better not mess with Phil. Not sure if it’s a recording or patch artifact, but it is a distraction. No. I take that back. It gets worse than a distraction. When Bobby starts his whisper screeches at 7:20 and Healy starts messing with them, it sounds like a baby Rodan hatching. Ridiculous. Somehow the crowd cheers. Don’t encourage Healy. The closing jam from about 8:10 on was pretty good, there were some pitchy areas likely due to source recording issues, but they recovered nicely from the abomination of the Bobby’s vocal mashups. Eyes tipped in the outro jam.
q. Eyes of the World* – Nice crisp 80s pace, with Jer flitting up and down the strings like a butterfly. A fat butterfly. Pace picks up even more around 1:25. Not too sure about the pace. Jerry leads a great first extended jam starting around 5:30. By 10:30, the jam gets a little frenetic and loose. Touches of a loosely organized Eyes themed Space? Not sure if there was a tug of war to go into Drums or Space around 12:45, or if they intended to jam this one further. Clear shift to a China Doll flavor at 13:15. This one was interesting enough to stand out.
r. Drums* – Short and sweet.
s. Space – Also Sprach Zarathustra theme at 0:25? Pretty standard version.
t. China Doll – Crowd is really slow picking up on this one, but once they do, their applause is enthusiastic. Brent’s harpsichord keys fit well. Jer’s solo starting at 2:00 is fantastic. He soars at 3:00 into the following “hurdy gurdy” verse. This one was ragged and rough, but the edge in Jerry’s voice seemed to lend to and match the tone of the song.
u. Throwing Stones – Just as I was getting used to this song, this is what happens. At this point in the show, the boys sound tired. Jer’s playing around 4:30 sounds listless and just short of uninspired. Phil is just a boom in the background. Bobby is subjected to vocal warbling, delays and echoes again at 7:25. The pitch changes are nonsense.
v. Not Fade Away – Mustering a little strength to close out the show perhaps? This one starts out really loose and a little sloppy. Bobby’s feeble attempts at beat boxing “bop, bops” are bad enough. Why do we have to throw ridiculous effects at this one. 2:45.....? What the hell is going on? Bobby’s falsetto screaming at 5:40 is asinine. Pretty sad when it takes 20 seconds of hippies clapping in time to save a song.
w. Turn On Your Lovelight – The crowd gets this one right away. Bobby’s rhythm sounds inspired. Brent is back to toy organ keys. Then the vocal distortion effects start. I hope they beat the shit out of Healy after the show. Giant Jerry clams at 1:47. A rare moment of clarity from Jer at 3:20ish.
This show started slow. Then they seemed to get their feet underneath them about 5 songs in. Then they faded miserably into the end. Far more valleys than peaks. The vocal effects were completely unnecessary. No, they were fucking stupid. This show pissed me off. If there were categories for Most Inconsistent, Unrealized Potential, and Idiot on the Soundboard, this show wins the Triple Crown of Suck.